Home & Apartment

February 5, 2017

Remodeling my Kitchen

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Photo by Ashley Billone

This post can also be known as the long, long road to my dream kitchen! Last winter, my fiancé and I purchased a condo and even though I spotted the incredible potential in our place, it definitely was a project to take on. There was a couple there before us who lived there for 40 years and it had been vacant the past four years, so as you can imagine, it needed a little TLC.

The floors were covered in carpet for all those years, the walls an egg shell color, cracks in the walls/ceilings and the kitchen and bathroom were extremely outdated. Looking back now, we really have done a lot in the past year to this place and we still aren’t done (though almost!). Since I love to cook and the kitchen is just a great place to spend some time, I really wanted to upgrade the kitchen- like completely. IMG_5774.jpg

From the time we bought the place to the time we started renovations in the kitchen was about five months. Being the neat freak that I am, it was tough utilizing the kitchen the way it was, with oil-stained stove knobs, a broken dishwasher and cabinets that smelled like mothballs. The planning for an upgraded kitchen seemed like forever, but once we got started, momentum started picking up.

My dad was a huge part in this, since he helped get the materials and helped with the demo. My parents came down one weekend to get the kitchen started and I was still at work, but when I came home I was surprised as to what our “new” kitchen looked like. I have to say, it looked a lot better already!

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Since we did have months to plan the layout of our kitchen, I wanted to do it right and have it look perfect. We have what you call a “galley kitchen” and though sometimes I get frustrated with the hallway-like layout, we ave really used to utilize it to the max. We made a lot of HomeDepot runs spent a lot of time feeling all the different materials for flooring and we landed on this gray tile that looks like wood and easy to clean!

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Now that we have the demo done, swapped out the head light and got the flooring finished and grouted, next step was the installation of the cabinets! When we first started looking into cabinet colors we immediately wanted white. Though white is a very clean look, I was stuck on what counter tops to match with it and also the paint color– it was an easy color to choose, but it wasn’t really the look I was going for anymore. I looked into gray cabinets and knew that was the way to go! Soon enough, we had the gray cabinets installed and it already complimented the tile floors very nicely.

 

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Soon after the cabinets were installed, the countertops rolled right in! For countertops, I was a little picky because they can really make or break a kitchen. I also learned a lot about the different types of countertops and what they are made of. We originally had quartz countertops, which is a more affordable countertop and is made of different glues. We ended up choosing a quartzite countertop, which is similar to marble in the sense that it is made out of real stones but it doesn’t stain like marble does (like if you were to spill red wine or get citrus juice on it).

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Next step was the backsplash. When we were originally planning the layout of our kitchen, I wanted Arabesque tile for the longest time. My mind changed a lot though from what I originally wanted to what the outcome was, which was better than I could have ever imagined! We decided on subway tiles for our backsplash because it’s a very clean and modern look. Everything was coming together and I was getting the kitchen of my dreams!

For knobs, we settled on stainless steel bars for the bottom cabinets and drawers and crystal knobs for the top drawers to give it a dainty look.

 

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The finishing touch was placing the faucet, adding some of my favorite cook books in the cabinet and taking in the view! It definitely wasn’t the funnest experience at times, but I would do it all over again if I could because great things do take time.


April 11th, 2015

SPRING CLEANING

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Photo by Pinterest

The great part; seasons are finally changing. The bad part; it’s time to put away all the bulky winter stuff.

That’s right–though it seems like decades ago, just months ago we took out all our winter gear as the sweaters, long socks and heavy jackets invaded our closets.

Today I braved this dilemma and went through my (very small closet) and took out all the winter stuff. As a huge pile of black and white clothing took over my bed, I immediately felt better once I opened the containers of various patterns and bright colors.

Now, if you have a small closet like myself, you want to do your “spring detox” in stages. Start with taking out all the winter clothing and put it in a spot that won’t confuse you.

Next, take out what you need for spring clothing and find a place for it in your closet. If you have a lot of shelf space make sure you look through all those clothes as well. I made the mistake of putting away my winter clothes that were hanging up and neglected the ones on the shelves.

You’ll notice that you’re left with a bunch of clear containers and a big pile of clothes on your bed. Depending on the size of your containers, you can group your clothing in any way that will make it easiest for you. I put all my dresses, skirts and stockings/long socks in one container. I put thick sweaters, sweatshirts, cardigans and turtle necks in another.

Lastly I have a (huge obsession) collection of scarves, hats and mittens so I rolled them and stacked them next to one another which saved a lot of room (think if you roll any cotton t-shirts or tank tops in your drawer).


 

December 1st 2014

DIY Holiday Gift Guide

It’s hard to believe that it’s already that time of year again. As always though, the months seem to fly by. Your schedule can be clustered around this time and it’s hard to find some time to get ready for the holidays.

Even though it’s December, it’s not too late to start your Christmas shopping. Another thing that can make it hard buying gifts–your bank account. Once you start your list of who to get gifts for you are left feeling overwhelmed.

Buying gifts for your friends and family doesn’t have to put a dent in your wallet. You always can rely on store sales if you’re feeling a little lazy, however they can run out of things fast. There are things that you can make for your loved ones that won’t cost a lot or take  a lot of time.

Here are perfect DIY projects that you can do on a free Saturday (whether you want to do them alone or make it a girls night).

GIFT IDEA
Photo by Etsy

1. Mason Jar DIY: This is a fun one because you can really alter it for anyone. You can get a pack of mason jars at a Target or Michaels for less than $12.00. You can also use any size jars you want.

-A makeup organizer for your mom

-A kitchen organizer

-Flower displays for anytime on the wall

-Storage in the organizer for dad (he needs to put his tools somewhere)

-Bathroom organizer (towels, toothbrushes…check)

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Photo by Etsy

2. Jewelry Organizer DIY: Making a jewelry organizer for a mom, sister or friend is easier than you think. You can buy any cheap frame (at a Target, Michaels or even a local antique store). You drill holes to fit earrings and you can screw some strips of wood and little hooks for bracelets and necklaces. You can also buy new knobs (or find old ones around the house) and drill them into a fun piece of wood to create another type of jewelry holder.

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Photo by Etsy

 

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3. Clock DIY: This is a great gift for friends who have an apartment or even for parents who don’t have a clock in their house. You can tailer this project to whomever you want. You can go to Home Depot or Michaels to find a type of wood or material. You can also buy the clock parts at Michaels.

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Photo by Etsy

4. Marquee DIY: Marquee letters are very popular these days, but the prices are not. They are generally sold around $100.00. Why spend that when you can make your own? You can make your very own letters out of cardboard, wood or steel. It depends on what you feel comfortable working with. Michaels sells cardboard and wood letters. You cut out one of the sides and make holes where you want the bulbs to go in. You can buy a string of bulbs with the plug with it at Target or Home Goods. Easy as that!

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Photo by Etsy

5. Ornament DIY: It seems pretty cliche to give an ornament for a Christmas present, however the person you are giving it to will always have it for the following holidays. Plus, you can make your very own.

-Glass bulbs (fill it with anything you want on the inside)

-Paint wooden ornaments

-Photo ornaments (tailor it to small photos–or just one photo–of you and the person you are giving it to)


October 6th

DIY: Wall Frames

Picture frames are the greatest accessory in an apartment. There are so many different types of frames with a lot of character that you can incorporate into your space. There are the classic black and white frames, metal frames, vintage frames, sparkly frames–you name it.

You can shower your apartment with picture frames and it would still look amazing. There are also many ways that you can re-arrange your frames to make it fun and unique.

If you don’t have a lot of shelf space and can hang things on the wall, here is the perfect way to make all picture frames “hangable.”

What you will need:

-Picture frame of any kind

-Yarn

-Scissors

Step 1: Take the end of the yarn and tie a firm knot.

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Photo by Ashley Billone

 

Step 2: Take the yarn and place it underneath the levers that hold the back of the frame. Make the there is about an even amount of string on both sides–it will make the end process easier.

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Photo by Ashley Billone

Step 3: Loop holes around each lever and make firm knots. You can adjust how loose you want the yarn to be for hanging purposes (the looser you leave the yarn, the lower your picture frame will hang).

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Photo by Ashley Billone

Step 4: Put it on the wall!

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Photo by Ashley Billone

Enjoy!


September 29th

Autumn Additions 

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Photo by Ashley Billone

Fall is here!

The leaves are beginning to change, the jackets are out and the air smells like pumpkin spice and apple cider.

Fall being my favorite season, I get into decoration mode as soon as September comes.

I hit the stores in search for apple cider and cranberry cents, fake leaves and mini pumpkins to put them around my apartment.

If you love fall as much as I do and are on a tight budget, there are many ways to get into the spirit.

1. Grab small pumpkins

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Photo by Ashley Billone

I got a pack of three pumpkins for only $5.00. Though mine came with stickers, you can always paint, carve and glue on the faces. If you’re on a really tight budget you can buy plastic ones so you can reuse them year after year.

2. Pick your  own leaves

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Photo by Pinterest

This project might take a little longer to do since the trees haven’t all changed colors yet. All you need for this is something with a round circumference, glue and leaves. You can do this with regular leaves, pinecones or pine needles.

3. Get a candy bowl

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Photo of Pinterest

Because it’s fall and there is no better excuse for having candy around.

4. Make your candy last

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Photo by Pinterest

Speaking of candy, here’s a type of candy corn that will last you for years. The trick–balloons! Get the simple steps at Brit + Co. You can also find other fall DIY on the site.

5. Use your booze

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Photo by Pinterest

All those wine bottles you’ve been stacking…you can finally put them to good use. Take them out and paint some fun fall faces on them.


Tuesday, September 9th

DIY: Dorm Edition

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Photo by Ashley Billone

Summer is coming to an end and school is back in gear (sorry everyone). Whether you’re just starting college or returning for another year, it can be extremely overwhelming. After relaxing for months and soaking up the sun it can be difficult to get back into school mode. You have to make a new schedule for yourself  and get used to it for the next few months. 

When I was starting a new school year, I couldn’t wait to decorate my dorm (later turned into an apartment). If you live far away, you want your space to be cozy–not look like a mental institution. Colleges are notorious for hideous, cold tiles and white, lonely walls. However, it can get really expensive buying Target wall art and even picture frames.

I had different themes in my room (well my space since you never have your own room in college–and if you do, count your blessings) and it never cost a lot. The only thing I changed one year was my bedding. I’ll admit, I went a little overboard on the wall art my freshman year, but you learn fast not to do it again.

During the summers, I would make fun projects and find creative ways to decorate my upcoming dorm. Since you live in a dorm (or are lucky enough to have an apartment) you probably don’t have much space to work with.

Here are some fun ways to bring some life and creativity to your room this year:

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Photo by Pinterest

You can find a fun frame anywhere: Target, Michaels, Bed Bath & Beyond, TJ Maxx or even your home. If you have simple-colored frames you can always paint them to any other color. Now, this frame uses wine corks which is fine, but that means you have to drink lots of bottles of wine (you can start collecting your first year and you’ll be able to use those sooner than you’d expect 😉 )

You can also grab some cork board in rolls at Target or Staples and super glue it to the back of the frame. You can use push pins to put pictures, to-do lists or cards.

As seen above (in the main post photo), I used a frame and super glued rows of lace to put earrings on (it surprisingly comes in handy).

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Photo by Pinterest

This is a fun project to do if you have an old ladder around the house. You can paint the ladder as you please and use it in your dorm. This may seem like it would take too much space, but you can put shelves for each step and use them to put books, picture frames, plants or even for food.

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This is genius. This is another house object that you could turn into something better. That old stool in your basement? Turn it into a little nightstand for your bunk.

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Photo by Pinterest

You must be 21 years old to do this (or just really love wine). Take an old rake in the garage and make it your very own classy wine rack.

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Photo by Pinterest

Take an old basket or laundry basket and turn it into a storage space. You can use yarn and make it look like a wicker basket or use cloth. You can put this under your bed and make it into your personalized laundry basket or even store blankets and sheets.


Tuesday, August 19th

Closet Detox

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Photo by Ashley Billone

I have now been living the apartment life like an adult (or trying to) for the past few months. Growing up, I had the luxury of having my own room, bathroom and a nice walk-in closet. I was able to hoard clothes over the years since I had the space for clothes and other junk that I didn’t need.

As college approached, I downsized a little but still had a lot of unnecessary clothes, shoes and accessories that I knew I wouldn’t wear. I just couldn’t get around to getting rid of them. I had an “emotional attachment” to all my stuff. Now, I consider myself to have an “A-type” personality and I am extremely OCD, but what’s wrong in saving some clothes I don’t want to get rid of?

Well, after I graduated college I moved into an apartment where there, I knew that my closet and storage space was going to get smaller again. After a lot of denial, I brought everything I had into my new apartment. Let me tell you, what a sight. From the looks that my boyfriend and family were giving me bringing everything to the apartment, I knew then that I had too much stuff. I always knew–and I always tried to get rid of stuff here and there, donating bags of old t-shirts and jeans. I even tried the consignment shop idea, but I stopped that really quick after a lady CLOSED DOWN her entire store a few weeks after my mom and I brought bags and bags of designer clothes. She also owed us money for the clothes. Coincidence? I think not.

Anyways, I’ve been getting better at cleaning out my closet and getting rid of things that I really don’t need. I had a tendency (and I use the past tense because I really have improved) to buy pieces of clothing that were really cool. I wasn’t sure if I was going to wear it but I had to have it because it looked pretty. I learned quickly that it’s not worth spending $50.00 on a blouse that I might never wear. I have to admit, I have had clothes in my closet for years before I even realized I had it.

This past weekend, I did my monthly cleaning to see if I had any clothes, shoes or accessories that I was hoarding. I have also been selling my stuff on eBay, which is a win-win because I get rid of stuff and get paid for it (if it’s in good condition, which is most of the time).

If you are like me and need a good closet cleaning, here are some good tips on how to do it successfully:

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Photo by Ashley Billone

Look through your clothes in sections. As I mentioned earlier, I am extremely obsessive compulsive so I do not expect everyone else to organize their closets in color order and by style (no judgements). First, I like to start with dresses and skirts since I have a lot.

Go through all your dresses one-by-one and if it’s easier, make three piles on your bed: Yes/Maybe/No. That will help you figure out what you love, are unsure about and don’t want anymore. Put all the “yes” dresses back in your closet and keep your “maybe” and “no” ones out. Now, if you have the time, I recommend selling your clothes on eBay. It can be time consuming, but you are also getting money for clothes you don’t want anymore!

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Photo by Ashley Billone

Now it’s time for shirts. Shirts of all kinds: blouses, tanks, long sleeves, short sleeves, strapless…you name it. Do the same thing with your shirts as you did with dresses. Make three piles: Yes/Maybe/No. In the end, go through all your “maybe clothes” and try them on. I know that sounds weird, but putting something on can help determine whether or not you want it anymore. If you’ve had if for a while, it could look worn out, be big or maybe even a little snug. I usually like to put my “no” clothes in plastic garbage bags and divide them up. Writing what the bag is with sharpie will make your life a lot easier for the future.

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Photo by Ashley Billone

Like most girls, I really like a nice pair of shoes. I have to say, shoes are one of the few things that I hoard. I’m not really one to splurge on a nice pair of shoes since I get nice hand-me-downs (thanks mom). Shoes are a little different since there are so many different kinds and you wear certain ones for the different seasons. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, it would be a good idea to go through your shoes for the current season (so summer) and really see which shoes you will save for next summer. If you were in love with a pair of sandals that you wore all summer and look a little worn, it’s a good idea to toss those. When next summer comes, you can treat yourself to a new pair.

With that being said, it would also be a good idea to look through your fall shoes and see what you have. If you end up throwing some out, get one nice pair that will last you through the season. It’s a good rule to go by, right?

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Photo by Ashley Billone

Finally, the jewelry. My downfall. I could have a drawer stuffed with necklaces and rings yet I would manage to squeeze something else in there. Jewelry can be a tough one because if you have a lot of different statement pieces, you’re never sure when you’re going to wear it.

That’s fine, but you can start with earrings. If you have a jewelry box with endless stud earrings, start there. Let’s begin with those Claire’s and Icing earrings. We all have a few pairs from sixth grade that we haven’t gotten rid of yet. Go through all of your pairs and just throw out the old pairs. It’s not even worth doing anything with.

Next, go through your bracelets and see if you have any that you’ve outgrown. If you have some younger girl cousins or neighbors that are total girly girls, they will have a ball with your old jewelry.

The fun thing about getting older is that your style will continue to change. What you love wearing now could be completely different in five years from now. That’s the fun of it though. With that being said, save yourself the clutter and give yourself a “closet detox” once in a while!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Lovin’

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Photo By Pinterest

1. Out with the dark, in with the bright.

I know, its been awhile since I’ve written about decorating. The good news: With summer here, there’s lots of fun activities that you can do to change up your space. If you recently graduated and now live in your own place (if you live home thats cool too), all the more reason to go all out and decorate!Here are some tips to consider if you’re giving your space a summer makeover.

A lot of the times summer is associated with bright and fun colors. Winter is over and so are the neutral tones. The brighter your space, the happier the mood. Now i’m not saying to bombard your space with yellow and orange. I’m just suggesting to put away the black throw pillows and buy something with fun patterns.

You can buy this lovely pillow on Etsy.


Another dainty flower pillow found on Etsy.

You can buy these colorful pillows for only $20 at society6.

Can’t go to the beach? You can have it in your apartment for only $20 at TrendingForHome.com.

Another beach piece for $20 at Society6.

2. Something Different
Everyone can use a fun piece in their apartment. It can be something you bought during a Eurotrip or even something you snagged at the Market. Either way, it should be something that is different from everything else in your apartment.

This fun planting pot can be found at Urban Outfitters (for sale!).

This lovely pastel vase also found (on sale) at Urban Outfitters.

Because everyone needs a place to put their apples (Urban Outfitters).

Wall decor that can be found on Etsy.

3. Going Green

Summer is the perfect time to add some plants in your space. For the windows, the walls or the tables. Its also a perfect way to plant some of those herbs you’ve been dying to use.

Crystal teardrop vases that can be found on Etsy.

Colored vases that can be mounted on the wall are found on Etsy.

Vintage vases found on Etsy.

Clear vases sold on Etsy.

Using an old fish bowl and turning it into your own mini garden. Found at, your home.


 Friday, February 7th  2014

Love is in the Air

Photo by Pinterest
Ah, the holiday that celebrates love is near.
Couples snuggle up even more than usual with chocolates in hand and roses in the other.
Singles stay in with a chick flick with other friends who despise the holiday.
Maybe i’m speaking for myself when I say this because i’m in a relationship, but Valentine’s Day really isn’t that bad.
Whether you’re single or in a relationship, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating all kinds of love.
OK, a romantic dinner by candle light may be out of the question, but there are many ways to celebrate and get in the loving mood.
Start with decorating your space.
Photo by Ashley Billone
Make cutouts from different colored paper.
-After making heart shapes, punch out a small hole at the top of each heart.
-Take string and make a string of hearts.
-Make as many different strings for your hearts and hang them on a wall or window.
For the final product, click here.

If you want another heart and string combo, try making a banner that you can border along a wall or a door frame.

Use a tin can and turn it into a candle holder.
-Take a tin can an poke holes into it to make a heart shape.
-Take a small candle to place inside.
-Put it against a wall for the heart shape to show up.

For more ideas, check out: All Things Valentine
-To make a Valentine’s Day wreath, click on Flamingo Toes
-To make arrow hearts, check out Somewhere Splendid

Monday, December 9th 2013

Round & Beautiful

Photo by Pinterest

Tissue paper is only used for gift wrapping and making presents look pretty. Think again.

Since tissue paper comes in all different colors, textures and patterns, that should be a good enough reason for you to use it for everything.

No matter what the outcome of your dorm theme is, you can bet that any tissue paper will match it. At first you might be skeptical about using such a material since it appears flimsy and extremely delicate. Well, all the more reason to use it. You’d be surprised by all the things you can use to create balls with tissue paper.


Use Styrofoam balls of all sizes.


Consider this the easy-way-out craft. You can use any size styrofoam ball and as many as you’d like. You can approach this three different ways:

1. Buy fake flowers and superglue them onto the styrofoam ball.

2. Make your own flower heads from tissue paper and superglue them onto the styrofoam ball. The benefit with this way is that you can make the flowers as big as you want with the tissue paper and it will make the ball look full.

3. Unlike one and two, this one takes longer, but the end result is beautiful. This one requires a flower cutout/stencil and thumbtacks of your liking. Click here to get the steps.

Use string.

Believe it or not, it’s as easy as it sounds. If you’ve always wanted to create one of these (look at the picture to the left), then listen up.

  • Fold tissue paper vertically to get long, thin lines.
  • Take a string (any kind) and pinch the middle of the tissue paper when you tie it.
  • After doing so, you should get the “fan effect” on both sides.
  • Cut edges and fan out the tissue paper and glue.
-Check out the Pinterest way for a visual step-by-step.

-Here are the supplies needed.


Clump them together.

This one is particularly appropriate for the holidays. You can use greens, reds, gold and silver tissue paper to create a wreath. If you want to get this type of looking flower with tissue paper, look here. (You can obviously use any color besides pink).

You can attach them to any circular structure that will support it. This is a good craft to hang on your door or on a wall that doesn’t have much on it.

You can use these different styles as inspiration to use for a wreath.

It’s time to party.
 
If you’re looking for more inspiration for colors and styles, check out Etsy.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spread Christmas Cheer

Photo by Pinterest
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
Does that saying ring a bell? (no pun intended)
Well, scratch that. There are a lot more ways to spread Christmas cheer than just singing. 
This year, expand your creativity palette and try some cardboard Christmas crafts. (thats a mouthful)
Yes, cardboard is not very appealing in it’s original state, but there are lot’s of fun things that you can create with it.
Christmas (in my opinion), is one of the most beautiful holidays. The decorations take a huge part in this.
Who says you can’t get into the holiday spirit at school?
When Christmas is right around the corner, that usually means that the Fall semester is usually coming to an end.
It’s always a good idea to take your mind off of finals for a little and get into the holiday spirit with decorating your dorm and/or apartment.
Fake Christmas trees are overrated. 
So are real ones in this case (and expensive).
This year, make your own Christmas tree out of cardboard!
It can be done, and the results are surprisingly festive.
If you’re wondering what you can decorate this tree with, check out how to make these paper ornaments.
With some paint, you can turn a tree into any color you want. Other holiday colors to use are silver, gold and red.
Also try punching some holes into your tree to add some sparkle to them. For affordable and safe lights, check out this website for colorful and bright LED lights.
Rely on the alphabet.
Whether you want to cut out your own letters or get them at Michaels, you can use these for anywhere in your space.
NOEL and JOY are the two most commonly used words that relate to Christmas.
With some paint and glue, you can make your letter (or letters) to however you please.
If you have a small tree or some counter space, use your initial and put some glitter on it to make it look festive.
If you have a tree that is big and stable enough, dare to put it on the top in place of a star.
If you like a challenge, try wrapping a letter (or a word) in yarn.
Red or green would make it look festive.
This would add a little kick to your craft.
If you want more details, click here.
If you’re looking for some bright lights, this is the right craft to do.
Carve the letters that you want and make some holes (like the tree craft) for some lights
Check out this example.
Hang some cardboard on string.
Christmas is one of those holidays where you can take almost anything and hang it on string.
Popcorn, garland, cranberries, bulbs and candy canes are just some of the long list that you can decorate with string.
Have you ever tried cutouts from cardboard?
Pick a shape or object and make multiple cutouts of it.
Since it is Christmas time, it would be a good idea to pick something Christmas related.
Some glittery stars should brighten up your walls.
If you want to do words with cardboard (and paper too), check out the inspiration from anthropologie.
There are so many fun ways that you can decorate for Christmas time.
Hopefully the above crafts will have your room looking like Christmas in no time!
 
Tis the season. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 17th 2013

Mason jars 101

Photo by Pinterest

Believe it or not, mason jars can be used in many creative ways. After reading this post, you will never want to use mason jars for refreshing beverages or apple sauce again.

Mason jars can be used in dorms, apartment living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and can be given to people as gifts. The endless possibilities of crafts that can be used with mason jars is inspiring and fun.

They are also timeless. Mason jars can have a purpose for any time in the year.

With a piece of wood and a few mason jars, you can pretty much make anything. OK, not anything…but you can put anything you want in themason jars.

If you have some bare walls in your kitchen space in your apartment, this is just the right thing. Bring some of the outdoors inside. If you’re not into dirt or flowers, take some kitchen supplies to store them.

Not all kitchens (especially in some apartments) have a lot of storage space. If this is the case, use three mason jars for forks, spoons and knives. Check it out.

If you want more ideas for kitchens, click here.

If you have limited desk space or need something to put your Q-tips in, usemason jars. If you want colored mason jars, click here.

Candles can be expensive. Why go to a store and buy a candle when you can make your own? Buy small candles and place them in your customized mason jars. Get the heart jar DIY.

Glow-in-the-dark seems to be underrated in this day and age. You can bring them back, by making your own glow-in-the-dark jars. Instead of night lights, you can place these on a table or counter top so it’s not completely dark all the time. Here are the easy steps.

If you want to check out more mason jar ideas, here are 50+ ideas.

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Sunday, November 10th 2013

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

Photo by Pinterest
Most dorms and apartments don’t come with mirrors (gasp).
If they do, it’s usually in the bathroom…if you are fortunate to have your own bathroom.
Before we break a sweat, there are many ways that you can add mirrors in your room.
Yes, that includes full length mirrors behind your door to check out your outfit head-to-toe.
Before you go out and buy a mirror, look around and see what you have.
You’d be surprised by the things that you can decorate mirrors with.
Instead of buying an expensive mirror with a fancy frame, you can design your own (for a cheaper price too).
Places such as Lowes sell just the mirror for a cheap price.
Let’s take a look at the different mirrors that you can design for your dorm room:
The Newspaper/ Magazine Mirror:
This mirror is perfect, particularly if you have piles of magazines, such as Cosmo and Vogue that you can’t get rid of (I am guilty of this).
For steps and descriptions, click here.
The Mosaic Mirror:
This mirror is good for bathrooms and/or your room.
You can use any color scheme you want, which works accordingly to your dorm theme.
This one requires time and patience, but if you have the time, go for it!
For items and steps, click here.
The CD Mirror:
Now that iPods have taken over the music industry, there’s really no need for all those CDs.
Its time to take them off of your dusty shelves and smash them up.
Your CDs can make a shiny and hip mirror.
Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.
The Sun Mirror:
There are a few ways to make this mirror.
In the picture above, you can use sticks. If you want that look, click here.
If you don’t want to use sticks, you can use plastic spoons.
Yes, that may sound weird at first, but it can be done.
You can get spoons in your cafeteria (when no one is looking) and all you need to do is buy some spray paint.
If you want to try this ombre mirror look, click here.
The Gold Mirror:
To be fair, I decided to add in a full-body mirror that you can create.
You can buy a regular mirror at Target, TJ Max etc. and spray paint it to your liking.
This way your mirror will look (almost) as good as your outfit that you’re looking at.
Check out the easy steps here.

Sunday, November 3rd 2013

Let There Be Light

Photo by Pinterest
Lighting can be very obscure in some dorm rooms.
One round light in the middle of the room just isn’t enough sometimes.
Who wants a dark room?
I could be speaking for myself, but a room looks lively with a flow of light, as opposed todarkness.
You could always buy a generic lamp post at a Target or Home Goods, but what’s the fun in that?
Whether it be a light bulb or a string of Christmas lights, you can almost make any lamp you want.
Time to get brighten things up!
Option One: The ‘Great Gatsby’ Chandelier
 
Things you will need:
  • A lightbulb that can be plugged in with a chord
  • Wiring and/or circular circumference for the chandelier (will need 2 circles)
  • Any color string/streamers to make the chandelier
What to do:
  • Wrap streamer/string around the base of wiring for security
  • Super glue lower circle to streamers
  • Tie the streamers together at the bottom with hair tie/rubber band
  • Cut extra streamers at bottom to your liking

Click here for a better look and more lamp ideas.

Option Two: The Japanese Lantern
 
Things you will need:
  • A lantern (any colored and can be prepackaged)
  • Brown paint
  • Cherry blossom flower heads
What to do:
  • As stated in packaged instructions, put the lantern together
  • Once you have the lantern in a ball shape, paint tree branches throughout
  • Glue the flower heads on the tree branches
Option Three: The Balloon Lamp
 
Things you will need:
  • A light bulb that can be plugged in with a chord
  • Yarn (any color)
  • Glue
  • A balloon or beach ball

What to do:

  • Take the yarn and mix it with some glue in a bowl
  • Attach a balloon or beach ball to the string
  • wrap the yarn in any order around the balloon or beach ball
  • Let it sit overnight
  • Take a small needle or sharp object and pop the balloon/ beach ball
  • Where the attached balloon was at the top, slide in the light bulb

Click here for a step-by-step picture process.

Option Four: The Firefly Lamp
 
Things you will need:
  • Tin can with cover
  • Spray paint (any color)
  • Drill or a sharp objects that can make holes
  • A string of christmas lights

What to do:

  • Take the tin can and make as many holes as you want
  • Spray paint the tin can
  • Once dry, place the string of lights inside
  • cover the bottom with a plastic lid

Click here for a bigger image of the steps.

As stated above, some crafts are easier than others.
Light fixtures can really make a difference in a dorm room.
You are just a few steps away from an easy and affordable new light for your room.
Want more ideas? Check out Architecture Art Designs for great lamp and lighting ideas.

Top Dreamer has light fixtures that will make your dorm room pop.


Saturday, October 26th 2013

Bye Bye Clutter

Photo by Pinterest
Dorm rooms and apartments are usually small to begin with.Throw clothes, shoes, hair and makeup products into the equation and you end up with a disaster. Not to mention that you are most likely sharing the space with someone else (or multiple girls). If this is the case..organization is key!
Maybe it’s my OCD instincts kicking in, but I think it’s extremely important to have an organized dorm. Girls are known to have way more things in their dorms than guys.Why?  Because we have makeup, multiple hair products, straighteners, curlers, perfumes, jewelry…I think you get the picture. The list goes on and on.
There’s only so many plastic bins that you can buy at target to store your shoes and winter gear. Having a mess under your bed will result in dust balls and chaos. Having a clutter free dorm will make it easier to navigate where all your stuff is. If you’re in a rush, you’ll know exactly where to look, instead of rummaging through piles.Do you have multiple girls in your dorm and one bathroom? That’s typical for college living. I mention this because every girl usually has multiple gadgets for hair. Many straighteners and curlers in one bathroom can be messy and dangerous. Etsy has a perfect solution for bathroom clutter.Dresser space can easily be filled up with picture frames and jewelry boxes. Believe it or not, jewelry can be put on walls. Yes, you heard right. Check out Pinterest for jewelry DIY frame.

Desks can also become a victim of clutter. Homework, a computer, books and folders can pile up quickly if you’re not careful. So many electronics in one space can create a cluster of chords. Use clips to attach to your desk. Take the ends of the clip to hold onto the chargers and WALA! A new phenomenon has been made.From desks, shoes and calendars, IHeart Organizing has the tips that you need to know.

 

 Sunday, October 20th 2013

Black, Orange & Chic

Photo by Pinterest
Who says Halloween has to be about just the scary stuff?
The witches, monsters and ghosts are back again! This year, put the fake blood and plastic spiders away. There are many other ways to decorate for Halloween. Instead, use Halloweencolors and apply them to cute objects around your dorm room.
There are so many beautiful aspects to fall that you can decorate with.
Take leaves and make a garland with them bordering the walls in your apartment.
Go pumpkin picking and paint them instead of carving scary faces.
Make cute designs on pumpkins, candles and posters with orange and black.
Add some black glitter to your Halloween artifacts.
Make a door wreath out of leaves or mini pumpkins.
Dip a skeleton head in glitter.
Make a Halloween banner for your wall.
Change the lightbulbs to orange ones or black ones for a better effect.
Replace spider web decor with sparkly yarn or string.
Fill mason jars with different candy and put it out on a table.
Lay out fake apples and leaves for decoration on a small table or other surface.
Wrap up mason jars in toilet paper or white tissue paper to have the mummy look.Apartment Therapy has handmade Halloween crafts to make for your roomWho said spider webs can’t be glamourous? Joann Fabric has spooky and simple craftsUrban Outfitters has Halloween decor covered

Monday, October 14th 2013

Get Your Wax On

There are so many fun things that you can do with crayons.
Photo by Pinterest
Yes, crayons are good for coloring, but sometimes you just have to think outside the box. Melting crayons on canvases has become extremely popular.
Sometimes, you just need some color in your dorm or apartment to make it look lively. Crayons will always be appropriate for any age and they also don’t come with an instruction manual.
When making the canvas, there is no specific theme in which the crayons are assorted. There’s always the traditional rainbow scheme, but the sky’s the limit.
Here are easy steps to make a perfect-looking canvas:
  • Get a canvas any size that suits you
  • Depending on the canvas size, get either a box of 64 or 96 crayons
  • Arrange the crayons on the canvas in any order
  • Once the theme is distinguished, super glue the crayons onto the canvas
  • To melt the crayons, turn on the blow dryer and place it over the crayons until wax begins to drip
  • Allow the wax to drip any way that you’d like
For other designs for crayons, look at these amazing canvases.
For further step-by-step directions with canvases, check it out on YouTube.
With fall here and Halloween just around the corner, there are fun ways to use crayons with pumpkins.
In this case, the pumpkin will be the new canvas. Here are easy steps for a wax pumpkin on YouTube.

 


 Sunday, October 6th 2013

Picture Perfect

Photo by Pinterest

Pictures are a must-have in a dorm room. Whether you live across the country or a half hour away from home, it’s always good to have pictures to remind you where you come from. Personally speaking,pictures are a huge part of my life.

I heavily rely on photos to reminisce. To me, having lots of photos in my room of my friends and family make me feel more comforted when i’m feeling homesick.

You’d be surprised to see what a wall full of pictures can do. There are many different ways to organize  and design your photos. You can always do the classic picture with a frame, but think outside the box. If you want to use some photos in frames, buy all different kinds of frames to make it colorful and unique.

If you’re not sure how to apply the pictures, look here for the many different patterns.

There are also many ways that you can arrange photos inside a frame. If you get a big enough frame (to your liking), you can place string and make a few rows to hang the pictures.

Love this look? learn how to make it with easy steps.

If you have a lot of white space, it will make your room like empty and lifeless. Though there are only so many posters you can place on your walls throughout your dorm room or apartment, pictures are unlimited.

With string and cloth hangers, you can hang as manypictures as you like on your wall. Want to get the look? Check out the easy steps to make your room look picture perfect.


Sunday, September 29th 2013

Birthday Bliss 

Even though i’m turning 21 this week, I still get so excited for my birthday. Though it’s not (socially) acceptable to celebrate with  princesses and barbies anymore, I still always turn to glitter and glamour for decorating.
Whenever I celebrate my birthday, a big part of it is decorating for a little get together or even an actual birthday party.Whether you are celebrating for your own birthday or a roommate’s birthday, it’s always fun to decorate the dorm.How might you go about doing that?Well, there are no concrete rules on how to decorate, but there are lots of fun ways to make your space look celebratory.
Let’s start with balloons. When people buy balloons, they are usually the generic colored ones. Although you may not know it, there are lots of fun ways to decorate balloons. Not only do they look great, but they also aren’t time consuming. When buying plain colored balloons, you can dip the tips in any colored glitter. It’s usually good to pick a color such as gold or silver because they will show up on all the colorsIf you’re not into the whole glitter thing, there is something else that you can do that looks more girly and dainty. Although this type of decoration is more time consuming, the end result is classy and elegant.
These cute balloons will give you that fairy tale look and is age appropriate for adults as well. You can choose the type of material that goes over the balloon, so it can even be a gender neutral decoration. If you want more ideas for balloons, check out this website for more inspirations. (The list is endless.)Another fun decoration to use balloons with is to make it into something. Here is a video from YouTube that shows you how to make a balloon tree with banners and a pole. This is another decoration that is time consuming but if you have the time, try it!The good news is that balloons aren’t the only decorations that you can use for birthdays. String and streamers are great ways to get creative. You can hang them from doors, and even on the ceilings. Depending on the space you have, putting up streamers is usually an easy task.If you have the patience and the time, you can even add in some lights and make it look pretty. No matter the age, a girl usually enjoys pink and lots of sparkle.

Sunday, September 22nd 2013

Make Your Room Go Round

How can you make your room space different from all the others?This is a question I often ask myself. Its not for competition purposes, but more for the fact that I want it to be unique and show off my personality.
The first thing you can do is think outside the box. One way to do this is to think of things that you can hang from your ceiling. Because the space is a dorm or an apartment, most students feel that their creativity options are limited. Well do not worry because as long as you’re not hammering or gluing anything into the walls, you can almost do anything.
One great way to decorate your room is to hang some sort of (hand made) light fixture or canopy above your bed. At first this idea may seem crazy, but it is completely safe, affordable and it looks great in your room!
Once you are finished with the light fixture or the canopy, you will be shocked at how much of adifference it makes. Making the chandelier (out of a hula hoop) gives the room an extremely cozy vibe. Making the canopy for your room gives you a sense of privacy and intimacy.
Another great thing about both projects is that you can put your own twist to them. With the basic tools and objects that you need, you can pick your own lights ribbon and cloth. This will show your own personality to your room. A good way to hang these particular ceiling decorations is to buy a thick hook that sticks onto the wall and it will stay up.
Interested in making your room look chic and creative? Look here for the easy steps to make a beautiful chandelier. If you don’t want a chandelier, make a beautiful canopy, inspired by the Apartment Therapy site.

Saturday, September 14th 2013

First Things First

When you see your dorm or apartment for the first time, it is very easy to become overwhelmed by the space (or lack of). Most often times than not, you probably packed too much from home and now you’re stuck with a bunch of unlabeled boxes.
Once you begin to unpack the boxes, you now face the dilemma of where to place everything. It will most likely take a lot of organizing and re-organizing before you come across a theme that you like.The fun part begins once you get to decorate and figure out what you want your room to look like. If you have extra furniture in your room such as a couch or a table, you will notice how plain looking everything looks.
While you don’t want your dorm to look like a hospital room, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on decorations. For students, money is usually a struggle and chances are, you are on a budget. There are many tricks and ways that you can make your room look creative and pretty without spending a lot of money.
I am personally a huge fan of the store Anthropologie and Free People. Anyone else who is a shopper there knows that it is not cheap. Their home decorations are so cute, however they are quite pricy.
There are many alternatives to buying expensive decorations. This is where creativity comes in place.Instead of going into a store like Anthropologie and spending $25.00 on a vase with a flower, you can make it for half the price.Here you can find the easy steps to make these adorable and affordable decorations.
They can be placed on tables, desks and night stands. Placing crafts like vases will make your dorm room look more sophisticated and timely, however it is such an inexpensive and easy craft to do.To make Anthropologie looking vases and other home decorations, look here.

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